Did you know that the formation of the mouth and teeth takes place within the first 6-8 weeks of fetal development? It is almost unbelievable to think that by the time your baby is born all of the teeth they will ever have are already developing in their jawbones. Our bodies are simply amazing! This fact only underlines the importance of early and regular preventative care and developing good oral hygiene habits early.
Primary (baby) teeth play an important role in your child's oral, facial, and total body development. They are the foundation to establishing healthy habits and confidence that your child will carry with them for a lifetime.
1. The purpose of all teeth is to chew food and maintain proper nutrition and health. Pain from cavities or other types of dental infections can make it more difficult for your child to eat nutrient dense foods that are healthy for both their body and oral development. Many nutrient dense foods such as leafy greens, vegetables, meat proteins, and whole grains take a great effort to chew. We need to have our teeth, palate, and tongue working together in order to maintain a healthy diet that includes the nutrients necessary for a healthy body. If your child is experiencing dental pain, they will most likely be unable to eat many of these foods or may favor one side of their mouth over another. While your children's bodies are growing, so are their mouths. Harder to chew foods engage your whole mouth promoting the spreading of their palate creating a wider tooth arch. A narrow arch has the potential to create breathing issues for a child as they grow which may require additional dental or perhaps even medical intervention.
2. Primary teeth help maintain space and guide proper eruption of the permanent teeth. If a child loses primary teeth to early the adjacent teeth may drift into empty spaces and block the eruption of permanent teeth. The only way to fix the misalignment of a tooth/teeth once it has grown in, is with orthodontic treatment (braces). Along with guiding your permanent teeth, primary teeth help your child learn how to pronounce words and sounds correctly and with confidence. A child who is not afraid to speak up will more fully participate in the environment around them. While there are many reasons a child may be hesitant to speak an early lost tooth and dental pain should no be one of them.
3. Pain from cavities or other type of dental infections can interfere with your child’s ability to concentrate and learn in school and their desire to participate in activities outside of school. Additionally, unplanned dental appointments to treat an emergency will result in your child missing school or opportunities to participate in activities with peers or family.
Regular visits with your dentist will ensure that your child’s mouth stays healthy. Dentists are able to monitor your child’s oral development and identify any potential issues early allowing them to be corrected before becoming a larger problem. We want to be your partner in maintaining your child’s beautiful smile and help reinforce the habits you are encouraging at home. We are always available to answer any questions you have and we always LOVE hearing from you in-between visits!